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Adding a wall plug to Tesla Wall Charger

Mar 26, 2021
48
21
Gilbert, AZ
I just bought a model 3 and the guy I got it from gave me a wall charger. I'm moving out of my Rental house in 2 months so I don't want to hard mount the wall charger but I would like to be able to keep the mobile charger with me in the car. Could I wire in a 10-30 plug to the wall charger and plug it into the dryer plug I have in my garage? Or does it have to be hard wired with a certain amp breaker?
 

jjrandorin

Moderator, Model 3, Tesla Energy Forums
Nov 28, 2018
10,409
11,754
Riverside Co. CA
If you have the knowledge and skill to add a pigtail to it, you could add a pigtail and plug it into that outlet. The wall connectors can be set to various amp settings (the version 2 one by physical controls, and the version 3 one by connecting to its wifi) so you would set it to the appropriate settings for the outlet you are connecting it to.

Tesla doesnt support people putting pigtails on them, but people do it. Just ensure you do it properly.
 

355rockit

Member
Apr 9, 2016
270
315
San Marcos, CA
I wired my wall charger with a NEMA 14-50 oven cord I bought at Home Depot. Easy to do. Make sure you torque wire connection screws to correct torque spec as stated in the wall charger installation manual and also properly set the dip switches given what amperage you are targeting. I've had mine installed for almost two years and working well.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,955
Boise, ID
I would just suggest buying the $35 10-30 adapter plug for the mobile charging cable from Tesla. That's the normal/right way to do it, rather than trying to add an external plug-in cord to the wall connector, which Tesla does not support or recommend.
 
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Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,650
2,326
Utah
I would just suggest buying the $35 10-30 adapter plug for the mobile charging cable from Tesla. That's the normal/right way to do it, rather than trying to add an external plug-in cord to the wall connector, which Tesla does not support or recommend.
I was going to add this as a suggestion, but RockyH beat me to it.

Edit: Removed most of the post, as RockyH has brought a lot of shortcomings of it to my attention. :)

Grats on your new car, OP!
 
Last edited:

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,955
Boise, ID
Using his suggestion, you can just unplug your Mobile Connector from the Tesla 10-30 adapter plug, and take the Mobile Charger with you. I'd recommend disconnecting the cord from the Mobile Connector itself, rather than at the wall plug, as wall receptacles have notoriously short plug/unplug cycle life. The connection method that is used to connect the cord to the Mobile Connector is much more robust than the prongs used on the 10-30 end of the cord.
Um, however, I would not recommend this for a couple of reasons.
No, the connection method is not more robust there. It's still metal to metal spring tension. The pin-in-sleeve form factor still has the same issue of spring tension and metal fatigue that would cause it to eventually become looser over time from a lot of plugging and unplugging.

1. By leaving that plug adapter in the outlet, but disconnected from the mobile connector body, that brings the live 240V connections out of the wall and dangling where they can more easily be touched. I haven't looked really closely at the Gen2 mobile connector adapters to see if they are somewhat surrounded by plastic to make them a little less likely for someone to accidentally touch them, but I think that is still going to be inherently more dangerous.

2. Really? You would put the wear and tear and weakening of a plug/spring connection onto the device that costs 10X as much? That seems ridiculous. Replace the outlet every 5 or 10 years if you want. That's much better and cheaper than wearing out and weakening the plug connection in the mobile connector electronics box.

There are several products out there (one that comes to mind is The Dryer Buddy) that will split your clothes dryer circuit into two 10-30 outlets. I've read that people have had both great and not-so-great experiences with them, so make sure you research them a bit before buying. Using such a thing would allow you to leave the Tesla 10-30 cord plugged in all the time, so you can just disconnect the Tesla Mobile Connector at the Connector end of the cord, and leave the 10-30 plug end plugged into the outlet all the time. Always remember to not charge your car at the same time you run your clothes dryer. Most of these type of products (possibly all of them), have some sort of "idiot proof" safety built into them to prevent this from happening, but nothing is ever truly idiot proof (it's amazing I'm still alive, really).
Ah, the infamous Dryer Buddy. I have a strong opinion on that. I think it's irresponsible that their basic product they advertise does not have that kind of toggle. People need to know which one is the good and safe better version:
1. Basic Dryer Buddy (not recommended). This is just a straight "Y" kind of splitter. Both sides are always hooked up, and you would need to make sure not to use both sides. Just not a good idea.

2. Dryer Buddy PLUS -- This does have a toggle switch for the safety of making sure only one side can be used. Safe, but cumbersome to have to remember to flip it back and forth.

3. Dryer Buddy PLUS AUTO -- This is the one I can recommend, where it has the sensing to detect and lock out the other side based on what is being used.

This forum is rife with stories of guys wearing out the 10-30 female plug in their home, and getting either really hot receptacles, reduced charging, or both. Luckily, I haven't read of a house fire started this way... yet. This is why, IMO, it's important to reduce the number of times that you plug/unplug the actual 10-30 end of the cord as much as possible.
Well...yeah, there was more of that with the Gen1 UMC. I was very please and impressed that Tesla put a temperature sensor in the plugs when they made the Gen2. I've seen some threads from that, where the car stopped or reduced charging from detecting the outlets getting hot. So I am not as concerned about that issue as much now.

But this also brings up my other opinion. I think people are way too focused on always "needing" a charging cable in the car every day. Really, are you going to be going over 200 miles in a day driving around town? It's fine to just leave your charging cable at home hanging on the garage wall instead of plugging and unplugging it every day, so you don't need to put extra wear on any of those metal connections. Take it with you a few times a year on trips if you want.
 
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Phlier

Bluebird
Jun 12, 2019
1,650
2,326
Utah
2. Really? You would put the wear and tear and weakening of a plug/spring connection onto the device that costs 10X as much? That seems ridiculous. Replace the outlet every 5 or 10 years if you want. That's much better and cheaper than wearing out and weakening the plug connection in the mobile connector electronics box.
Very good points, Rocky. Especially about having the live 240 volts at the MC end of the cord.

I've read quite a few posts from guys using cheap wall receptacles and nearly immediately (or after a very short series of plug/unplug cycles) having hot plug and reduced charging issues, hence the suggestion.

It would seem that the best solution would be for guys to be aware of the fact that plugs wear out, and sometimes quickly, so checking for good connections on a regular basis is important.
 

Ruffles

Member
Jun 13, 2017
468
701
Snohomish WA
What is the technical reason why a pigtail is not recommended for the wall charger? If you use the same torque specification for the connection in the charger, it will be the same as a hard wire install. If the concern is that the charger is capable of pulling more current than the plug can handle, the same risk is present in a hard wire situation where the wire is a smaller gauge.
 

Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,955
Boise, ID
If you use the same torque specification for the connection in the charger, it will be the same as a hard wire install.
No it will not. Count the connection points and their types. Starting from the wire in the wall.
Hard wired has 1--screw tightened into the lugs of the wall connector.

cord-and-plug has:
1 screw tightened into the back of the outlet
1 spring tension of prongs in the outlet
1 screw tightened into the lugs of the wall connector

By using that cord, that adds TWO extra connection points, and the spring tension one is less tight and more resistive than torque tightened ones.

And you asked for a technical reason, which I just gave, but don't entirely discount the code reason. Code says you need to follow the manufacturer's install instructions, which say to hardwire it.
 

Ruffles

Member
Jun 13, 2017
468
701
Snohomish WA
No it will not. Count the connection points and their types. Starting from the wire in the wall.
Hard wired has 1--screw tightened into the lugs of the wall connector.

cord-and-plug has:
1 screw tightened into the back of the outlet
1 spring tension of prongs in the outlet
1 screw tightened into the lugs of the wall connector

By using that cord, that adds TWO extra connection points, and the spring tension one is less tight and more resistive than torque tightened ones.

And you asked for a technical reason, which I just gave, but don't entirely discount the code reason. Code says you need to follow the manufacturer's install instructions, which say to hardwire it.
Thanks for the reply. I get that adding the plug inline introduces the connection points at the plug but isn't the connection at the charger the same? If you swap out the wall charger for the mobile charger, you'd still have the plug (and it's connections) but that is a supported configuration. I wonder if the difference is with the way the wire is connected inside the mobile connector which is more efficient than the screw type in the wall connector?

As you noted, it doesn't change what's in the manufactures install manual.
 

davewill

Active Member
Feb 5, 2014
1,828
1,983
San Diego, CA, US
Personally, I see no problem with adding the pigtail to the wall connector, but I figure that for the same price, you might as well own the adapter for the mobile connector. There's really very few good reasons to take the mobile connector with you every day, especially over the course of a couple of months.
 
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Rocky_H

Well-Known Member
Feb 19, 2015
6,660
7,955
Boise, ID
Thanks for the reply. I get that adding the plug inline introduces the connection points at the plug but isn't the connection at the charger the same? If you swap out the wall charger for the mobile charger, you'd still have the plug (and it's connections) but that is a supported configuration. I wonder if the difference is with the way the wire is connected inside the mobile connector which is more efficient than the screw type in the wall connector?
Here are a couple of the differences it would still have:
1. People usually want to do this so they can run a wall connector at 40A from a 14-50 outlet. That is certainly higher current and more stress on the outlet connections than the mobile connector, which they now limit to 32A.
2. The real mobile adapter plugs from Tesla have a temperature sensor in the plug head that is up against the outlet to detect for it getting hot and have the car stop or reduce charging if that occurs. You do not get that with a generic oven cord that you would use to attach to a wall connector, so you lose a safety monitoring system.
 

MN-MS100D

Member
Dec 10, 2018
135
92
Minnesota
What is the technical reason why a pigtail is not recommended for the wall charger? If you use the same torque specification for the connection in the charger, it will be the same as a hard wire install. If the concern is that the charger is capable of pulling more current than the plug can handle, the same risk is present in a hard wire situation where the wire is a smaller gauge.
HPWC lugs are not rated for fine stranded wire. Google "fine stranded wire".
 

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